What it is, how it manifests, and can physical therapy can help.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is unwanted urinary leakage due to physical exertion such as coughing, sneezing, lifting, and exercising. It can occur at any point in one’s life, but is more common after pregnancy and delivery, the older one gets, with weight gain, and for men can often occur after a prostatectomy. Studies show that the prevalence of urinary incontinence in the United States is 53%, of which stress incontinence comprises 42% (compared to urge incontinence only).
There are many contributing factors that influence whether one will have incontinence, such as age, weight, amount of tension in the pelvic floor muscles (whether too much or too little), breathing patterns, and strength of the core and leg musculature.
In contrast to popular opinion, “kegels” are not always the answer to stress incontinence. That is because some people hold too much tension in their pelvic floor and tightening it further only perpetuates the problem. Pelvic health physical therapy can help to determine what is causing the leakage, whether that is due to tension, weakness, or poor timing or coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. A thorough evaluation is important to figure out the “why” and create an individualized program to help address it.
Mendwell is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapy clinic serving patients in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Tigard. Our team of specialists are passionate about helping patients improve pelvic function, relieve pain, and get back to feeling their best. Reach out to learn how we can help.